Former legendary Dundalk FC boss Jim McLaughlin, the greatest manager in League of Ireland history, has been awarded with the Freedom of Derry City.
The 78-year old, who won the double with Dundalk FC, a double-double with Shamrock Rovers and a historic treble with Derry City, was honoured at the City’s Guildhall last Wednesday for his success.
Jim’s family including his wife Reina, his sons Paul, Sean and Marty and his grandchildren, one of whom, Jack, is part of the Dundalk FC’s U13 panel attended the ceremony alongside him. Jim’s son Paul discussed how his Father had won many honours through football but how this honour was something very different to any of the others.
Councillor Michaela Boyle, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District council, poured praise on McLaughlin who led the Candystripes to a domestic League of Ireland treble 30 years ago, an accomplishment that has never been matched.
“The Freedom of the City honour is a fitting tribute to Jim McLaughlin in recognition of what he achieved with Derry City in 1988/89 season when they won the treble,” stated the Councillor.
“He has been a strong advocate of the sport and it is fitting that this event is held to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Derry City winning the treble. He is dearly loved and respected by the people of this city and region and we are absolutely delighted to confer the Freedom of the City honour to him tonight,” she added.
Members of the treble-winning Derry City side were in attendance with Liam Coyle, who made his debut under McLaughlin as a teenager, describing his former manager as one of the best.
McLaughlin is now enlisted with the Freedom of the City honour. Other recipients of the honour include former Bishops of Derry, the late Most Rev Dr Edward Daly, and the most Rev Dr James Mehaffey; Dr Tom McGinley, of the Foyle Hospice and Nobel Laureate and former SDLP leader, John Hume.
Credit: Dundalk Sport